analyticsbox | Oct 20, 2021
The U.S. Standard of Living Compared to Europe
Some politicians keep talking about how great European style socialism is (European Welfare State) and that is what we should be doing. Really? Let’s look at some facts before we go headlong into programs.
First let’s establish some basics. Europe is not the socialism of Marx, where there is a centrally planned economy and government ownership of property and the means of production. It is essentially a free market economy, just like the US, with some important differences.
Europeans have a lot of social programs, earlier retirement and many support programs, truly a welfare state. And they tax everyone a lot more than we have through income/pension taxes, value added taxes, fuel taxes, etc. Their tax system hits the middle class much heavier than in the US, where our taxes are much more progressive (higher incomes pay a much higher portion of the taxes than lower incomes). In fact the US already has the most progressive tax system in the world today - but no politician will tell you that. ‘Tax the Rich’ may sound good, but that is already happening and as any objective economist will tell you, you cannot pay for all the proposed programs by just taxing the rich.
So, let’s examine which countries have the highest standard of living. We will use consumption per person as our gauge.
The chart says it all. We already have the highest standard of living in the world -- by a significant margin. So how are we improving our lives by copying countries that do not do as well? As you can see, the LOWEST 20% or our citizens consume about what the AVERAGE person in other countries consume. And they are falling further behind with the progressive programs and big government. See Facts No Spin #16, for a discussion of how to prosper.
Some additional important points. They tax everyone much more in a more regressive system and take total taxes of almost 50% more than the US, and yet they still cannot balance their budget because of all the spending by big government. Several of the European countries are teetering on insolvency (or already there) and others are headed that way. Their progressive ideas yield many less people in the workforce, which is all a part of their falling further behind the US.
The Bottom Line
Don't listen to the PBS (Political Bull Shit), the progressive ideas HURT our growth and standard of living, not help it. The idea that we can ‘tax the rich’ to pay for it is nonsense, and they know it, but will try to sell you on the idea that it is costing nothing! More PBS!
The progressive agenda is not working to improve the standard of living for those countries that have it. We need to do the right thing and get back to fiscal sanity. It makes no sense to copy failing policy!
Learn about Economics, then vote smart!